Yesterday was a sad day. I found out my friend with stage 4 colon cancer had died only a few days after they moved her from skilled nursing to the hospice area of Grace Presbyterian. While I am grateful for her swift exit, I still feel a huge hole in my heart. Her sister was with her until right before she died. Not knowing when my friend might die, her sister had needed to run an errand, and was coming right back. She no sooner left than the nurses called her and said to come back quick. By the time she got back, my friend was gone.
That's the thing about death. You just never know how it's going to go. I've had several scenarios in my head about how mom might die, and I'll bet you $10, none of them are what actually happens. Some people die gently, others go out swinging, fighting the whole way. Blessed are the ones that slip away softly.
Birth is often the same way. Some babies look like prize fighters all beaten up by the time they arrive. Others look like they've seen a stylist shortly before their entrance. I've seen some covered in meconium (baby poop) and others not too gooky. It just depends, and you never know. Another one of life's little reminders that no matter what you may think, you are not in control.
I went to see mom yesterday and for the most part, her oral language is shot. The weird part is, she can still occasionally say my name. Clearly the speech part of her brain has taken a big hit but a few synapses are still firing. I sat on her bed with her and told her what's been going on lately...and I cussed... and she screamed out laughing. She was very familiar with what we were discussing, so she was ready to "punch 'um" (previous post). She did her eyebrow raise thing that lets me know she got it and that she's with me 100%, and all I could think of was, what a gift. We can still communicate. Although it's very lopsided with me doing mostly a monologue, I still can tell by her body language what she's thinking (sometimes) even when her mouth and brain can't tell me.
I can talk to her better now than when she could speak. My take away lesson? Listening to my kids and letting them just talk, accepting them right where they are and not trying to "fix" them or the situation, is the biggest gift I can give them. Mom continues to teach me. Holy cow.